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Is Einstein a Positivist?

Robert Neidorf
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 30, No. 2 (Apr., 1963), pp. 173-188
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/186424
Page Count: 16
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Is Einstein a Positivist?
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Abstract

This paper combines the following elements: (1) A review and evaluation of the principal places in Einstein's philosophical statements which suggest that he does (or does not) advocate a positivistic epistemology of science. (2) A review and evaluation of the principal arguments suggesting that Einstein's version of the special theory of relativity leads (or does not lead) to a positivistic epistemology of science. It is argued that (1) a sharp distinction between scientific concepts and their relations to sensory evidence is required by Einstein's statements, and by the special theory itself; (2) that distinction, as employed in this context, entails a nonpositivistic epistemology; and (3) that distinction provides the key to an understanding of Einstein's apparently positivistic statements.

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